HAVE A LITTLE FAITH: Gaius writes:
I just got off the phone with my son. One of the wonders of the modern world is that I can actually talk with my boy even though he is so far away serving his country. It wasn’t like this not so many years ago. Then, when the troops went off to war, it was communication by mail as a rule. Bruce Kesler once told me in an email that he did get to call home once from Vietnam, I guess that’s the first war where that occurred. But nowadays it is pretty common. Both phone and email are available pretty much whenever the troops are at a base.
One of the hardest things for me this past year has been watching the erosion of support for the men and women serving in this war. I remember watching almost the same scenes play out during the Vietnam war. Support flagging at home leading to morale problems, leading to more erosion at home, and on and on in a spiral. The media not helping then or now. And I know it troubles my son and his fellow soldiers. Because they are keeping the faith for those back home.
It is we here at home who are not reciprocating. Or at least far too many are not.
Or too many are here are growing weary of a war they are not even really fighting. Very few bloggers and very few of the people in the media actually have family members engaged in this war. Still fewer politicians. And the politicians feel free to play politics with the entire war as a means to count partisan political coup upon one another.
But the men and women serving in this war, voluntarily, continue to keep the faith. They continue to do what is asked of them. The carry out their mission. Even in the face of flagging public support, even when politicians are busy trying to use them as political weapons, they carry on. They have faith in us.
Is it too much to ask that we also have faith in them?
I don’t know where this sudden ooze of defeatism comes from, but it seems clear that the troops don’t share it.
UPDATE: Take a look at this cartoon, too.